Is it just me or has it felt like this summer just flew by?! With only two more long weekends to go before Fall is upon us, I’ve put together some of my favourite long weekend activities for a go-to guide on how to do up your long weekend the right way.
By far, my favourite thing to do on a long weekend is hit the great outdoors either camping or cottage-ing…honestly just getting outside. If you have the opportunity to get out on a lake, take advantage and get your fill of water sports in. Starry night? Light up a campfire and roast some smores!
Every August long weekend my family has a big barbecue in the Kawarthas filled with boozy beverages, sweet treats, grilled goodness and group games. Who doesn’t love a good ole grill session in the summertime?
So my first suggestion, of course, is BARBECUE IT UP!
If you’re going to do a barbecue you might as well do it the right way and add some games into the mix. Different activities allow for friendly and fun competition, whilst getting everyone intermingling through participation, cheering on, and watching with an ice cold beverage in hand.
My favorite barbecue games are:
- What you’ll need: Regular Beer Pong: 12 red solo cups (6 per team organized in a triangle), 2 ping pong balls (minimum), beer, booze, or any beverage
- Spiced Up Version: if you’re by the water get on in and position the cups on opposite ends of a floating board (be creative, I’ve used a paddle board, a Boogey Board, and a inflatable raft)
- Rules are simple: throw the ping pong ball into the opponent’s solo cups. Drink if your opponent sinks one in yours, remove the cup that the ping pong ball landed in.
Bean Bag Toss/ Cornhole
- How to DIY: the official set can be bought at different sporting good retailers, big box stores like Walmart, or game shops. However, you can DIY by creating a rectangular outline (with cardboard, rope, wood, chalk, etc) and a smaller circular/ hole in the upper half of the rectangle. You can also use buckets and label them different scores. You’ll need bean bags as well.
- You can find the official rules here!
- To simplify, the game consists of two teams of two players. Place the Cornhole boards an agreed upon distance apart and have one teammate on each side. Alternate pitching between the two teams on one side, before the opposite side returns the pitches.
- Simple Scoring: 3 points are rewarded when the bean bag goes through the hole, 1 point for when it lands on the board/playing surface, and zero points if it lands anywhere outside of the playing surface. The team with the highest score after an inning adds the difference of the two scores to their game score. The winning team is the first team to surpass 21 points.
- Giant Jenga: Buy the Giant Jenga blocks online at Jenga.com or use 2×4 wood planks to create your own
- Spice up regular Jenga to Truth, Dare, or Drink Jenga by writing Truth or Dare or Drinking challenges on half of the blocks.When someone pulls out one of the select blocks they must complete the corresponding challenge.
Next, I suggest strapping on your running shoes or hiking boots and walk or hike a trail! This is the perfect option if it’s a bit overcast but there is no rain in the forecast. We have such a beautiful city and the long weekend is the perfect time to explore it! Bring along a picnic to enjoy when you reach a picturesque destination!
My must have picnic items include:
- WATER!!! Always a must-have when doing anything even slightly athletic and outdoors – especially in the summer. (Gatorade or Vitamin Water are also good bring-alongs)
- GRANOLA BARS – the easiest snack if you get peckish along the way!
- Something easy like SANDWICHES or WRAPS as your main course.
- DESSERT – TREAT YOURSELF!!!
My favorite Toronto or GTA walking/hiking/exploring spots are:
- Don Valley Brick Works Trails (Toronto) / Moore Park Ravine (which leads to the Brick Works)
- Rattlesnake Point (near Milton, Niagara Escarpment)
- Elora Gorge (conservation area with beautiful waterfalls and a gorge where you can swim or tube)
- High Park (the west end of the city)
- The Bluffs (Scarborough)
- Edward Gardens
- Sunnybrook Park
Make a day out of strawberry or raspberry picking and use the fresh berries in a fresh spring salad or as toppings for your dessert! Bake a pie or make some jam with the remaining berries!
Now, if it’s sweltering hot & sunny head to the beach!
- Get active by playing beach volleyball, toss around a football or Frisbee, or just relax with a book! Bring along a wireless speaker and jam out to some music by the water.
Unfortunately given the weather we’ve been having over the summer, it would be remiss if I did not include a couple rainy day activities.
Catch a movie at the VIP Cineplex Theatres
- If you’re craving something action packed check out Atomic Blonde
- Feeling the superhero fever? Spider-Man Homecoming… in my opinion, Tom Holland is the BEST Spider-Man to date! He’s quirky, he’s cute, he’s English 😉
- Going with the girls? Girls Trip is a must!
Be a tourist in your own city!
- The ROM: for a special summer promo, every Friday post 5:30 PM enjoy roaming The ROM for a discounted rate!
- Ripley’s Aquarium: Shark Week just wrapped up and I’m still reeling from it! I feel like there’s a void in my life that can only be filled with more Sharks!!!! If you also have a mad case of Shark fever, you cannot go wrong with Ripley’s!
- Casa Loma: explore the oldest castle in Canada! If you like Escape Rooms (who doesn’t ?!?!) check theirs out! For more info on their Escape games and to book your tickets, click here!
Still wanna be active… or at least semi-active?
- Channel your inner monkey and go rock climbing at The Hanger, jump your heart out at Sky Zone, get flexible and fly away by taking an aerial yoga workshop at Fly Queen Street, or play some bocce ball and shuffleboard at Track & Field Bar!
Stay in and get cozy!!!
- Who doesn’t love a good laid-back weekend? Do a movie marathon and binge watch something! Choose an assortment of horror flicks, make a day re-watching (or watching for the first time) the classics, catch up on your Marvel movies, go for the oldies but the goldies in Rom Coms, or make it simple and go for your all-time favorites!
- Add in some face masks or mani/pedis and have a little DIY spa weekend
Alright, I could go on and on and on about fun things to do in the summertime… but essentially, just have fun and stay safe this long weekend!!!
If you’re looking for me… I’ll be right here on this dock with this little pooch Emma post BBQ extravaganza!
Enjoy the rest of your summertime!!!